Categories: ForestryGuest posts

Infographic on the Business of Forestry and the Industries Dependent on it

Almost a third of the world’s forests are used for the production of wood and non-wood products. In fact the global trade in forest products totals $379 billion and 1.6 billion of the world’s people depend on our forests for their livelihood. This infographic is an overview of the Non Timber Forest Products (NTFP) and the industries that depend on them. Over 150 types of NTFP are significant for sustainable development, conservation of biological diversity and international trade.

Food is the number one category of NTFP but there are a huge number of both edible and non-edible forest products which industries frequently rely upon. For instance, the automotive industry depends on the production of natural rubber for tyres. The demand is such that more than 250 million tyres are produced a year and more than 90% of the supply of natural rubber comes from forests in South East Asia.

This infographic gives a snapshot of the cosmetic and medicinal industries with a particular focus on Shea Butter and Argan Oil. Shea Butter for example has seen a huge surge in demand from the cosmetic industry with demand increasing by 1200% in the past decade as it is used in soaps, pomades, and moisturisers, a particularly lucrative market. Most Shea Butter is produced in the agroforestry regions of West African. L’Oreal, the world’s largest cosmetic producer, is buying 3 times more Argan Oil than it did 5 years ago to include in hair and skin serums. Argan Oil is produced in the arid forests of Northern Africa, specifically Morocco.

Last but not least, this infographic focuses on the agriculture and food industries including the production of Palm Oil and Soya. Palm Oil is the world’s most popular vegetable oil and 1 in every 2 packaged foods in supermarkets contains it. Worldwide demand is forecast to double by 2020 and it is produced in plantations that have replaced the rainforests in Southeast Asia. Soya is produced in the former forests and Savannah lands of South America and 4 out of 5 soybean crops feed livestock, in fact China’s demand for Soya is predicted to increase by 59% by 2020.


Alan Crowe, Crowe Sawmills in Ireland

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